Shaping Foils

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Crucial to the success of any boat are the foils which steer it through the water, and keep it on course. In the case of Va'a motu, these are the leeboard and the lee rudder. Yep, both are hung on the side of the boat, not underneath the middle of the bottom.

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In order to shape the foils, I created a machine which ran a router over top a mahogany plank which had been ripped (cut long ways) & then laminated back together with grains alternating to avoid warping over time. The picture at left shows the clamping setup for the lamination.

The machine was basically a platform supported by bushings running on angle iron. The platform held a track, on which the router slid. By varying the depth of the router bit, I ran progressive "steps" along the rudder, ultimately reaching the depth of the NACA section.

The photo above shows the "steps" left by the router after one side has been routed. I've left the full thickness on the left margin in order to keep the board level after it is flipped to complete the other side.